Don't judge a book by its cover
Main problems have really been just typical maintenance required for a car of this age and distance. Tyres, brakes, battery and exhaust have been replaced.
The night we went to pick up car, the climate control failed. The previous owner fixed it, at a cost of $500 or so I think. It has been fine since.
The drivers power window can be slow. These are the only problems we have had.
The car has been very reliable. It has done many long journeys and never given any problems. Latest trip was a 4500km trip from Sydney to Wilpena Pound and back, driven by relatives.
It has towed a big caravan from Melbourne to Sydney in 40 degree heat without complaint.
It is a car which feels like it won't let you down.
Handling is average, ride is quite good. Being a Fairmont it is very quiet.
In my work I get to drive the latest Fords, Holdens and Toyotas. Surprisingly none are quieter than the Fairmont. Below 100kmh the Fairmont is quieter, over a 100 it rustles a bit, probably due to weathershield on drivers door which the work cars don't have.
I do all the servicing myself. This has been an oil change every 10000kms, plugs, brake oil and coolant every 40000kms and recently new leads (this is a little tricky). So servicing costs are on average about $40 each service (plus my time).
I previously had a VN Holden. At 70000kms to 100,000kms it was OK. Then the faults (too numerous to list) started every 5000kms. At 150,000kms it was getting very tired. The AU is vastly more reliable.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th October, 2009